Two Tampa Corporations and Four Tampa Residents Sentenced in Connection with Scheme to Unlawfully Sell an Unregistered Pesticide and Obstruct Justice
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), Michael A. Hill, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), Atlanta Field Office, and Colonel/Director Calvin Adams, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement (FWCC), announce that New Nautical Coatings, Inc., d/b/a “Sea Hawk Paints,” Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc., d/b/a “Refinish Line Auto Supplies,” of Clearwater, Florida, and Hillsborough County residents Erik Norrie, 42, David Norrie, 46, Jason Revie, 44, and Tommy Craft, 46, were sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro in Miami, Florida.
New Nautical Coatings, Inc. (New Nautical), which pled guilty to willfully conspiring to obstruct the Environmental Protection Agency, was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,235,315.00, that constituted a disgorgement of the unlawful gains the company derived from the offense. New Nautical was also sentenced to a three year period of probation, which requires the company to complete an Environmental Compliance Program during that period of time. David Norrie, who also pled guilty to willfully conspiring to obstruct the Environmental Protection Agency, was sentenced to five months in prison and six months of home confinement. Erik Norrie, who pled guilty to willfully conspiring to knowingly distribute and sell an unregistered pesticide, was sentenced to 3 months in prison. Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc., who pled guilty to the same conspiracy, was sentenced to probation for one year. Jason Revie and Tommy Craft previously pled guilty to knowingly distributing and selling an unregistered pesticide and were each sentenced to a one year period of probation.
According to the Superseding Indictment and other court documents, New Nautical manufactured an antifouling coating called Biocop, which contained tributyltin methacrylate, also known as “TBT,” a chemical compound which was found to have significant harmful effects on marine life. TBT based paints such as Biocop are pesticides subject to registration with the EPA. On or about March 30, 2005, the EPA cancelled New Nautical’s registration for Biocop, making it unlawful for the company to manufacture Biocop for sale in the United States after December 1, 2005, or sell Biocop in the United States after December 31, 2005.
Despite the cancellation order, New Nautical continued to produce Biocop for sale in the United States from 2006 through 2009. In order to conceal this post-cancellation production of Biocop, New Nautical employees were directed to change the batch numbers on cans of Biocop, which previously referenced the date of production, to a series of numbers ending in “9999.” During this time period, New Nautical used its sales team and staff, including David Norrie, Erik Norrie, Jason Revie and Tommy Craft, to sell and distribute unregistered Biocop in the Southern District of Florida and elsewhere in the United States, but invoiced those sales through its sister company, Refinish Line. On May 22, 2009, after David Norrie sold 60 gallons of Biocop to a customer in Broward County, Norrie directed the customer to tell EPA investigators that the customer did not have Biocop, and that New Nautical did not sell Biocop. Roughly six months later, in November 2009, EPA and Florida Fish and Wildlife agents and investigators executed a search warrant on New Nautical’s premises, and seized evidence which led to the indictment and conviction of the defendants.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of EPA-CID, EPA-OIG, and FWCC. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandro O. Soto and Maria Medetis.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.